Is honoring another person's request submission?


Good morning.† I was reading your web page on submission.† I am trying to find out more about submission and I have a specific scenario and I am wondering if you can help me.

My boyfriend and I had an argument this morning about submission.† We are in a committed relationship and seeking Godís will for us in marriage.

I had asked a favor of him and he honored it.† This morning he told me that he was submitting to me in that act.† I said that he was honoring my wish. I believe that we are both saying the same thing but when I told him that was my opinion or how I interrupted it he got very angry at me and told me that I am an odious woman.† It turned into a nightmare and he left for the day very angry.

If you have time and you understand what I am saying could you take a minute and help us?† I think the point he was trying to make is that he was being submissive to me in doing what I asked.† I didnít disagree with him I just said that I looked at it as honoring my wish.

This happens all the time with us Ė I believe we are saying the same thing quite often, but because I say it differently or how I interrupt it he gets very upset with me.† It is better (believe me I know) that I say nothing.† I donít know why I did this morning.


I believe you both misunderstand the concept of submission. When we pray to God for help and He answers our prayer, is God submitting to our will? Of course not. We ask for favor and God chooses, out of His kindness, to aid us. As Jesus showed in his prayers, "nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39). Therefore, answering another person's request is not submission in and of itself.

Submission is voluntarily following another person's choice, even when you would rather do something different. Jesus showed that when going to the cross. He didn't like the pain and suffering he was about to endure. He would have rather a different way be found, but he did it anyway because that was God's choice. Jesus, "who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered" (Hebrews 2:7-8). Submission is not really a one time act, but an overall acknowledgement that another is in charge.

Now, if your boyfriend was saying he would much rather do something else but because you asked he is putting you first, then that is a form of submission. It is the form all Christians should have for each other, "submitting to one another in the fear of God" (Ephesians 5:21). It is the idea of putting the interests of others before your own (Philippians 2:3-4).

That you two argue over such small matters is not a good sign. I take it that both of you are prideful and that pride often clashes. It isn't true love. "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil" (I Corinthians 13:4-5). You both have a ways to go to develop love for each other.

But along with that, I see you are playing word games in other aspects of your life. You state you are in a "committed relationship." What most people mean by that is that you two are living together and having sex without being married. So why not called it by its proper name, fornication? You said you are looking for what is God's will in regards to marriage. Notice that by properly naming what you are doing, God's will -- already recorded in the Bible -- becomes very clear.

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

"Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:1-2).

Sex is for married couples, not boys and girls pretending to be adults without committing themselves. Isn't it ironic that people call it a "committed relationship" when no true commitment (a marriage covenant) has been made? God's will is for people to live righteously and not sin. So, please, end your sin and start submitting your will to God.